How to enrich a child’s life is one of the best investments of time you can make. Enrichment activities with children are shown to not only benefit them academically, but also build language and social skills.
Here’s the key to easily enriching a child’s life. Share your loves and passions with them. It’s not only fun but you foster learning, curiosity, creativity, and relationships.
When you are lucky enough to have a child in your life (your own, grandchildren, niece, or nephew) spend time with them and enrich their life and yours.
I have been an advocate for providing enrichment activities for children my entire adult life. As a young mom, I loved doing crafts, playing games, taking walks, telling stories, reading books, and exploring the world around us with my children.
I continued as a scout leader (Cubs and Girls) and later as a program director for youth. Now I do it as a grandparent. Connecting with children through enrichment activities is incredibly beneficial for them in all areas of their life.
If you want to do things to promote future success for your child or grandchild, spend time with them in enriching activities and see them blossom. The most valuable thing to give a child is your time, your attention, and your participation in some kind of activity.
An Example of an Enriching Activity
I took my granddaughter Lillian to an art gallery and book signing. She was fascinated to meet real people who write and make art.
How do I know this enriched Lillian’s life and expanded her horizons? When we got back home, I had her write a thank you note to Duckie and the Grackle. In her note, she said, “What will I be when I grow up? Mmmm, a poet? An artist?”
Now she knows that real people write books, illustrate books, paint pictures, make jewelry, and take photographs. Nothing I could have told her about these things would have made the impact that her experiencing them herself would make.
I happen to love art, writing, books, and food. That’s what guides me in what I share. But that’s only a small sample of enriching activities.
Here are some enrichment activities that I’m doing with my granddaughter and some suggestions for others.
Books and Literacy
I love to read and I love children’s books. I love encouraging Lillian to read new books and am proud to have given her, her first chapter books and to have been on her first visit to the library. What started as a way to move her away from Disney Princess books has evolved into introducing her to entire new worlds, history, and positive role models.
As readers know, books provide inspiration and they spark curiosity and discussion. Books also help develop language and expand vocabulary. As a college counselor, I can tell you that reading is one of the most important activities a child should be doing! Remember all those “reading comprehension” sections on tests? No test review can replace ten years of actual reading!
Now that Lillian is a voracious reader, going to libraries is a standard part of our visits together. We are enjoying exploring different libraries in the city and trying out new books.
Explore the Outdoors
One of our best days out was an amazing park in the Museum district. It included visiting McGovern Centennial Gardens. This gorgeous park was great for a child because she could climb (twice!) a 30-foot high garden mount, complete with a spiral trail to its summit, and explore some really cool gardens, paths, and structures. Even smaller city parks are an adventure to a child.
We also enjoy going to local parks or walking trails. Once we even went out at dusk to watch the bats come out at a nearby bridge that hosts a colony.
We enjoy trying restaurants in the Houston area. Because Lillian is never allowed to have electronic devices at the table, she eats and has conversations with her family and friends. She will try just about any food and eating in new places is a way to introduce her to new cultures and foods.
Recently we took her to an Indian restaurant where she tried all kinds of new foods. She’s already an avid fan of sushi and is open to at least trying most things as long as they aren’t spicy.
Creativity, Art, and Writing
I love fostering creativity in children by providing art supplies such as paper, notebooks, and tools for writing and coloring. Lillian loves it when we work on things together.
My granddaughter and I will spend time creating crafts. Recently we did this simple photograph frame. I had some 6X8 pieces of white chip board. I traced the shape of the photo we were going to use. Then my granddaughter colored it and added stickers. I think it turned out really cute!
Cooking and baking are also fun. My younger granddaughter loves mixing things up in a bowl. Sometimes we sit in the kitchen and watch her daddy cook. I can tell that time in the kitchen is going to be one of our enrichment activities.
Cooking and baking require reading, following directions, safety, measuring, counting, and nutrition. It’s easy to create kitchen activities that are age appropriate.
From Candy Land to Monopoly, I have spent many hours playing games with children. It was an important part of our home life with my children and now it’s fun to see my kids playing with the next generation. I have a stack of games in my living room as do both my daughters now.
I honestly think board games are one of the best things you can do with a child. It teaches understanding rules, taking turns, healthy competition, and strategy. Plus they are fun. There are games for every age and interest. We all love game nights.
There are so many things you can do with a child beyond what I’ve listed above. Here are some other ideas: Music, science, cooking, math, outdoors activities, and nature.
The key to providing enriching activities is that you participate in them. One of the great benefits is that not only does it enrich the child’s life; it enriches yours!
So, if you can’t already tell, I’m kind of a kid at heart and I enjoy these activities too. But as someone who has worked with children and in the education system, I can also tell you that these things matter. Spending time with children in enrichment activities does make a difference in their lives.
Have fun my friends!
Here are some resources that I enjoy sharing with the kids. These are affiliate links, so read the full disclosure here.
Tapple is our new family favorite. All three generations love this game! It’s such a favorite, there is one at every house. It’s that good.
I should have gotten an award for Number of Times Played, for Candy Land. It was my middle daughter’s favorite game and we played it a lot!
Pretend Soup was a favorite cookbook when my kids’ were little. I passed it down to my daughter.
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.
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